Imperial Riviera, Valamar and AZ Pension Fund Enter New Investment Cycle

Lauren Simmonds

Imperial Riviera will operate in multiple destinations across the Republic of Croatia with the highest level of corporate governance quality as the owner of a significant tourism portfolio.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of September, 2019, in an invitation to the General Assembly, the management of Imperial Riviera d.d. proposed an increase of the share capital of the Imperial Riviera, worth 426 million kuna, equivalent to about 57 million euros.

Over the last three years, Valamar Riviera and AZ pension fund (Mirovinski fond) have jointly invested over 1 billion kuna in Croatian tourism through the acquisitions of Rab’s Imperial and Hotels Makarska and through continued investments in the development of their tourism portfolios. The merger of Hotels Makarska with Imperial at the end of June this year created Imperial Riviera d.d., with the aim of creating a stronger platform for continued investment in the expansion of their tourism business in Croatia and the wider region.

The announced increase of Imperial Riviera’s share capital is the beginning of the realisation of a five-year business plan that anticipates 200 million euros worth of new investments in raising the quality of their portfolio and growth through acquisitions and expansion to attractive tourist destinations in Croatia and across the region, making Imperial Riviera one of the five leading tourism companies in all of Croatia.

As stated, Imperial Riviera will operate in multiple destinations with the highest level of corporate governance quality as the owner of a significant tourism portfolio.

“Raising capital and organising a joint venture for the management and investment into property in the region is a logical continuation of the successful cooperation between the leading pension fund and the leading hotel company in Croatia. We believe in the growth potential of Croatian tourism and the long-term sustainability of the hospitality industry which invests in employees, destinations and quality tourism, and I’m convinced that partnering with the AZ pension fund is an ideal model for investing and developing Croatian tourism,” said Željko Kukurin, CEO of Valamar Riviera.

“Continued investment in this joint project is a follow-up to the investment strategy of the AZ pension fund under which we invest in Croatian tourism, as we believe that such investments are in line with the long-term investment potential of our fund members, for whom such investments represent the possibility of obtaining optimal returns. We consider the model in which we combine the investment potential of AZ pension funds and the experience and success of running Valamar, as a leading Croatian hotel company, as a model that ensures the long-term success of this project,” said Kristijan Buk, CEO of Allianz ZB, a company which deals with the management of mandatory and voluntary pension funds.

Valamar Riviera is a highly respected, leading Croatian tourist company that manages hotels, resorts and campsites in well-known tourist destinations. Valamar can accommodate approximately 58,000 guests a day in 34 hotels and resorts and in 15 campsites, with the aim of providing the perfect holiday and an authentic experience for each individual guest. Valamar is a leader in innovative resort tourism management and is a destination partner, which through responsible and sustainable tourism business, creates new value for guests, employees, shareholders and the local community alike.

The AZ pension fund is the largest institutional investor in the Republic of Croatia. With total assets under management exceeding a massive 44 billion kuna, the AZ pension fund represent relevant investors in the European context as well. AZ’s mandatory pension funds are currently taking care of the retirement savings of over 677,000 Croatian employees, while AZ’s voluntary pension funds deal with over 142,000 citizens.

Imperial Riviera has six hotels, three tourist resorts and two campsites in some of the leading Croatian destinations, the island of Rab and Makarska. Valamar has been in charge of managing the tourism business of the entire portfolio since 2016.

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